One of the most popular games of poker by far is Texas Hold’em. When many say “poker” they are in fact referring to Texas Hold’em. Of the many variants of Texas Hold’em you might try, one of the most popular games is No-Limit Hold’em.
Curious about how this game works? Let’s take a look at how No-Limit Hold’em works, and what you need to know before you start to play.
How to Play No-Limit Hold’em
The rules of No-Limit Hold’em are much the same as basic Texas Hold’em – the true differences come in how you place bets. We’ll go over how you place bets in this game, but for now, let’s quickly go over the rules of the game of Hold’em.
This is a community game, meaning that there are cards that every player can use in their hand. Players will first be dealt two cards that they keep private. These are known as hole cards. After the first round of betting, three community cards are dealt on the table. These are known as the “flop”.
Another round of betting passes, and then the fourth community card is dealt. This is known as the turn. After another round of betting, the fifth and final community card is dealt – the river. There is a final round of betting for any players still in, and then the hole cards are revealed and a winner is determined.
How to Bet in No-Limit Hold’em
There are two things that you need to know when placing bets in No-Limit Hold’em – how the blinds work and how betting between rounds works. If you know how both of these work, you will hopefully be able to approach any games you play with more confidence.
How Do Blinds Work in No-Limit Hold’em?
Let’s take a look at the blinds first. In any game of poker, the blinds are enforced bets. These help to keep the action moving forward, otherwise, everyone would just fold until they got a good pair with their hold cards.
There are two blinds – the Small Blind and the Big Blind – and they change with every round. A dealer will be designated every round. If you are playing online or at an event, there will be someone else handling dealing the cards, but if you are playing with friends then you will likely take it in turns to deal. The player clockwise to the dealer will play the Small Blind, and the Big Blind is the next player clockwise. These roles move on one place clockwise with each hand.
The Small Blind is set by those running the table. The Big Blind is typically worth two times the Small Blind. These are the first bets played, and they will kick off the rounds of further play.
How Do the Other Betting Rounds Work in No-Limit Hold’em?
The key difference between No-Limit Hold’em and the other types of Texas Hold’em lie in the further betting rounds behind the blinds.
To put it most simply, No-Limit Hold’em has no limit on what you can choose to bet. You can bet any amount between the Big Blind and all of your chips, referring to as going “all-in”. You can even do this before the flop is dealt, something that you can’t do in other types of poker.
After the Big Blind has been played, the next player at the table has several options. The first is to fold – to turn in your hand for the round and not play any longer. You can place a bet to match what is currently in the pot, or you can raise and increase the minimum stake needed to stay in the game. When everyone who will be taking part in the round has placed their bets, you can also check. This means that you are not adding to the pot. When everyone has checked, the next card is dealt.
Should I Play in a Cash Game or a Tournament?
If you are ready to flex your poker skills and want to try a few hands of No-Limit Hold’em, you will find that you have the choice between cash games or tournaments.
Cash games happen regularly at both online and land-based casinos. Tournaments tend to be a little rarer, though plenty still happens throughout the year.
A big difference between cash games pops up for No-Limit Hold’em when it comes to the buy-in. This is what you have to pay from your own funds before you can gain entry to the game. Fixed limit games have no maximum buy-in. However, No Limit games will have a minimum buy-in of 40x the Big Blind, while the maximum will be 100x the Big Blind. Tournaments tend to have fixed buy-ins, and they will be significantly higher for the more prestigious and well-known tournaments.
There is also a difference between cash games and tournaments when it comes to the blinds. The blinds will always be the same in cash games. If a game is advertised as $1/$2, this means that the Small Blind will always be $1 and the Big Blind will always be $2 no matter how many hands are played. In tournaments, the blinds are continuously raised. This helps to keep play interesting and moving forward rapidly as the number of players around a table decreases, and the stacks of chips in front of the winning players get even bigger.
No Limit is an interesting variant of Texas Hold’em. Having unlimited raises available from the pre-flop can result in some truly spectacular plays. Try a few cash games of No-Limit Hold’em, and if you think this is the game for you then you should think about signing up for a tournament to fully test your skills out!